How to Build a Website that Works!
How To Build a Website That:
Draws Traffic, Converts Visitors Into Buyers and Generates Ongoing
Part 4 - Planning Monetization Options
Here we are at part four of this series and we are only just
beginning to talk about how you can earn money from your
site. Once you have a foundation of high quality original
content that drives free search engine traffic to your site and
you've developed a relationship of trust with your visitors you
can begin to monetize.
However, you will want to have done some research before you
build your site so that when you get to this stage you will already
have a good idea of the various revenue streams you can add.
If you are a small business owner or consultant
you may only be interested in having your website generate leads
or sales for your primary product or service. On the other hand
you may be developing a niche site and looking for multiple
approaches to monetization.
Multiple Streams of Income
There are various monetization models you can use,
so let's take a look at some of the more popular ones that you
can implement on your site.
Of course, a big one is the affiliate marketing model.
If you are not familiar with affiliate marketing it is one of
the easiest ways to add a revenue stream to your site. Many merchants
offer affiliate programs that allow website owners (publishers)
to promote their products and earn commissions for providing referrals.
This is a great way to get started as the merchant handles
all of the back end work. They stock the products and
handle billing, shipping and returns. You just recommend their
products or feature their ads on your website and send them referrals.
When it comes to choosing which affiliate program to join and
what products and services to recommend it is important to remember
not to abuse the privilege of trust you have earned with your
visitors. Only recommend things you truly believe in.
Your reputation is on the line. People are only willing
to buy based on your recommendations because of your reputation.
Never squander the treasure of your good name for fast and dirty
While there are thousands of merchants with affiliate programs
offering millions of products you don't want to limit yourself
to the affiliate model. There are many more options to monetize
Another popular approach that is easy to get started with is
Google AdSense. When you place AdSense ads on your website
you earn a percentage each time a visitor clicks on the ad link.
Advertisers bid on the the amount they will pay so the amount
you will earn per click can vary greatly.
Before you decide on which niche you get into it pays
to do a bit of research on the value of the AdSense clicks
for each of your niches if you intend on making AdSense a part
of your site's monetization plan.
Fortunately, Google has a tool that you can use to get a general
idea of what the value of different keywords are. Check
out the Google Adwords Keyword Tool here.
Just enter your main site concept keyword and Google will return
a list of related keywords. To see how much advertisers are paying
for these phrases go under the "Choose columns to display:"
and select "Show Estimated Avg. CPC". (CPC means Cost
Per Click.) You will likely see a wide range even within this
niche ranging from a few dollars to mere pennies.
Try entering keywords for your other niche ideas and compare
the different CPC values. You don't want to decide your
niche solely on these numbers but it's good to know what
the potential is before you make your final decision.
you use affiliate marketing to monetize your site you will have
to be careful about your Google AdSense placement. You
wouldn't want to create a page where you promote an affiliate
product and then also place AdSense ads there. Why? Because other
affiliate marketers may be placing ads with Google in a Pay Per
Click (PPC) campaign and their ads could appear on your page.
So after you have created a great page that has gotten the traffic
and has PREsold your visitor on the product you would lose the
sale if that visitor clicks on your competitor's Google ad and
goes to their site instead!
Another possibility is to earn income from referrals
to other businesses. For example, if you have a travel
site related to your favorite vacation spot you could refer your
visitors to local hotels, restaurants, bed & breakfasts, real
estate agents, car rentals, tours, etc. What businesses are related
to your niche?
You could place a form on your site where, for example, visitors
could inquire about booking a bed & breakfast. The form information
could then be sent to both yourself and the owners of the bed
& breakfast. If a booking resulted they would pay you a referral
Digital Products and E-books
With your in-depth knowledge about your niche you can write an
e-book full of valuable information. Offering e-books,
either those you write or those created by others, is a great
monetization option. They are easy to create as they
are digital products. There are no printing costs, no warehousing,
no shipping. Just add a simple PayPal button to accept payments
and buyers can them just download the e-book themselves.
Speaking of digital products, you can often earn great commissions
selling e-books created by others. It is not uncommon
to see commissions from 40-75%.
It works the same way for other digital products like software,
videos and MP3's. Digital products can also easily be
offered as promotions. For example, as bonuses for visitors
who subscribe to your newsletter.
You can also incorporate net auctions like eBay into
your site. But instead of just offering your products
on eBay and depending on their traffic you can now take
control of your net auction business by driving your
targeted traffic to your auctions instead.
By the way, even if you don't have your own auctions on eBay
you can join their affiliate program and offer items being auctioned
Hardgoods and Dropshipping
You can also sell your own hard goods. If you buy or
manufacture products for sale you can use your website to promote
them. You can handle the shipping yourself or you can
work with other merchants that have drop-shipping programs.
Dropshipping takes a lot of the hassle out of the equation
as you don't have to handle warehousing and shipping but as you
bill customers directly it does require more work than simply
being an affiliate who refers sales.
Offer your services. Are you a webmaster, graphic designer,
copy writer, photographer, financial adviser, plumber, etc. Use
your website to generate highly targeted leads. You don't
have to rely on expensive advertising (online and offline) like
AdWords or YellowPages.
Even if your service is provided to a local geographical area
having a website that can beat out your local competitors is becoming
more and more important as people are now using Google
to find local businesses and are using YellowPages less and less.
If you're in network marketing or MLM chasing leads can be frustrating.
You can use your website to generate pre-qualified leads that
have already been PREsold on the concept. Instead of chasing leads
that may not be interested now you can have leads coming to you
who are already intrigued by your business opportunity.
These are just some of the examples of ways that you
can add revenue streams to your website. Be creative,
find new ways and put together a combination of approaches. You
want to have multiple sources of income. So, consider what monetization
options will be available for your niche concepts before you decide
on the best one.
Once you've decided on the best concept for your website that
has the best potential for both traffic and monetizaton you will
be ready to start creating your site. We'll be looking
at ways to build your site even if you have absolutely no technical
skills. Don't worry about that. But more importantly
we will be looking at how you need to structure and optimize
your site and pages to make them search engine friendly.
If you haven't already, make sure to subscribe to the
SBI-Classroom Bulletin. There is no charge right now
to join. Just enter your email address and first name in the subscription
form at the top right side of any page. Note:
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Until next time...
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